David Richards is without a doubt one of the greatest players to ever don an SMU uniform.
The former offensive tackle played for the Mustangs in the 80s and was an All-SWC selection his first three years. But when SMU received the ‘Death Penalty,' Richards decided to transfer to UCLA for his senior season.
Now his son, Tony, will have the opportunity to finish what his father started. Tony, who plays offensive tackle at Highland Park, picked up an offer from the Ponies early last week.
"I actually hadn't heard much from the staff until last week. They called my coaches and told them they were offering," Tony said. "The next day I got a call from Coach (Dan) Morrison, and he told me a little more about the program and the school and how I would fit in. He said I would redshirt, which I wanted to anyway. I want to be there for five years and make an impact for two or three years."
And a week later, Tony pulled the trigger and committed to SMU.
"I had a week after I talked to Coach Morrison to really think about it. I sat down with my family, and we decided it was a great place for me," Tony said. "My dad played a role in helping me get offered, and he was so psyched when I committed. I'm really excited to follow in his footsteps and play at SMU since I've been around the program my whole life."
Tony attended SMU junior day in the spring, the camp in the summer and says he and his family are regulars at SMU home games. Along with playing at the same school as his father, Tony is also thrilled about staying close to home and the prestigious academics offered on the Hilltop.
He has also spoken to SMU greyshirt William Barns about the university and is ‘happy' he will be reuniting with his former teammate in the fall.
"(William) was actually one of the first people to congratulate me on my offer. We didn't talk too much about the program since I'm really familiar with it," Tony said. "I've been to a bunch of games through the last six years, and I really love the atmosphere and the school.
"I just love it there. The program is on the rise, and I think I can continue to help improve it. It's so close to home that it's like I'm not even leaving for college. It's great, and I'm just really excited."
The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder also held an offer from Texas State. But he says his commitment to SMU is ‘completely solid' and is now focused on leading Highland Park to a deep run in the playoffs.
"Now that I'm a starter, I feel like I've improved a lot over the last year. I've gotten more coaching, and my technique is better. I'm having a good season and so is the team," Tony said. "We had a tough one against Aledo early in the year, but we've gotten a lot better, and I think we can make a run.
"As far as me, I pass block really well, and I think I can be a great fit in SMU's passing offense. I can't wait to be a part of it."